FL toddler battling cancer in need of extremely rare blood

FL toddler battling cancer in need of extremely rare blood

Zainab Mughal, 2, has neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that more often affects children. This makes finding a match for her life-saving transfusions hard.

But locating the donors is not enough to save the little one's life.

"We were all crying", Raheel Mughal, the girl's father, said, according to the Miami Herald.

Mughal said his daughter's diagnosis was "the worst thing" they could have expected, until doctors discovered another problem.

Neuroblastoma is a cancer of specialized nerve cells in the nervous system and other tissues. Two are from the United States, and one the United Kingdom.

The cancer can spread to tissues beyond the original site, including bone marrow, bone, lymph nodes, liver and skin. The symptoms vary depending on where a child's tumor is.

Neuroblastoma is most commonly found in the adrenal glands, which sit above the kidneys and are responsible for producing hormones that help regulate the metabolism, immune system and other essential functions. According to the American Cancer Society, there are about 800 new cases of neuroblastoma diagnosed each year.

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Along with chemotherapy, children receive blood transfusions to restore blood cells destroyed from the treatment. The birth parents of the donor must be 100% Pakistani, Indian or Iranian and their blood type has to be type "O" or "A".

Are you a match for Zainab's blood type?

But OneBlood, the lab facilitating the search, said in a press release that she needs more blood than the three donors have given for her treatment. If Zainab gets a blood donation from someone who has the antigen, her body will reject it.

Complicating the matter: She has a rare blood type and finding a match for life-saving transfusions is a huge challenge.

The non-profit blood donation organization OneBlood launched a campaign in a bid to find people who can donate blood to Zainab Mughal. Even within these ethnic groups, fewer than four percent of people have the genetic variation.

Must be exclusively Pakistani, Indian or Iranian descent - meaning the donor's birth parents are both 100 percent Pakistani, Indian or Iranian. So far, more than 1,000 local donations, as well as donations from other parts of the country have been tested and no additional matches have been identified.

"This is all hands on deck", Bright said in the video.

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